WLA School Library Interest Group receives AASL Grant



From the American Library Association

The Wyoming Library Association School Library Interest Group (WLA-SLIG) has been named one of four recipients of the 2020 American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) Past-Presidents Planning Grant for National School Library Standards. The $2,500 grants, awarded in honor of AASL past presidents, are presented annually to AASL Chapters for the planning and execution of an event, initiative, or activity focused on the implementation of AASL’s National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries. WLA-SLIG is the recipient of the planning grant awarded in honor of Sharon Coatney and sponsored by Edward M. and Helen R. Adams.

“The WLA-SIG will hold regional training sessions to introduce the AASL Standards to library staff serving in remote parts of the state,” said AASL President Mary Keeling. “Monthly coaching and discussion using teleconferencing technology will follow. This plan continues the excellent work begun in 2018 by Jennison Lucas. It is notable that administrators and paraprofessionals will be invited to attend as they will gain an expanded awareness of the importance of the modern school librarian’s role in education. I’m especially impressed with the consistent messaging and persistent attention given to reaching all of Wyoming’s school library staff.”

“The Wyoming proposal will work to equalize understanding and implementation of the AASL Standards statewide,” said Dorcas Hand, grant committee chair. “The several regional workshops will bring the content to school librarians who, because of distance, have been unable to attend the state conference. Each workshop will be tailored to support maximum implementation of the standards using all the tools the AASL Standards teams has devised. The committee loved how Wyoming school library leadership worked to build a training program that was not a cookie cutter for every district, but rather focused on local needs in order to achieve the strongest possible results. The monthly online follow-up meetings will continue to support librarians new to these ideas.”

“AASL works with its chapters to activate leadership within the school library community and to influence educational policy and funding for school libraries at the local, state, and national levels,” said AASL President Mary Keeling. “We are pleased to offer planning grants honoring past presidents to help state chapters address their state librarians’ particular professional learning needs. This year’s grants demonstrate how the National School Library Standards can inspire strong school libraries in any context and serve as a frame for powerful messaging. I am delighted with the variety of plans receiving awards. Many thanks to AASL’s past presidents who continue to lead through their generous sponsorship of these awards, and congratulations to the grant recipients!”

The AASL award winners will be honored during a virtual AASL Awards Ceremony during the fall of 2020. The virtual ceremony will replace the live ceremony traditionally presented during the ALA Annual Conference. Out of concern for the health and safety of all members of the community, the ALA Executive Board felt it was important to cancel the 2020 conference taking place in Chicago. Details for the virtual ceremony will be shared as they are finalized.

The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.

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